Tropical wood exporters to the EU must start collecting the necessary data to comply with the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), which will be enforced from 30 December 2024. The EUDR requires exporters to provide evidence that the wood they source is legal and free from deforestation. Additionally, they must provide the geo-coordinates of all individual plots of land from which the wood products are sourced. This crucial information was emphasized during the ITTO Annual Market Discussion, which took place on 14 November in Pattaya, Thailand, as part of the 59th Session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC).
The EUDR aims to combat illegal deforestation and promote sustainable practices in the timber industry. It will apply to all timber products imported into the EU, including both solid wood and wood-based products. The regulation is part of the EU’s commitment to tackling climate change and protecting biodiversity. By ensuring that imported wood is legally and sustainably sourced, the EU hopes to reduce its contribution to global deforestation and promote responsible forest management worldwide.
To comply with the EUDR, tropical wood exporters must gather comprehensive due diligence data. This includes verifying the legality of the wood through documentation and certification. Exporters must also provide information on the origin of the wood, including the specific plots of land from which it was sourced. The geo-coordinates of these plots will help authorities trace the origin of the wood and ensure it comes from legal and sustainable sources.
The ITTO Annual Market Discussion served as a platform to raise awareness about the EUDR and its implications for tropical wood exporters. Participants emphasized the importance of collecting accurate and reliable data to meet the regulation’s requirements. They also discussed the challenges that exporters may face in implementing the necessary data collection processes.
One of the main challenges highlighted during the discussion was the need for cooperation and coordination among different stakeholders in the timber supply chain. From forest owners and managers to exporters and importers, all parties must work together to ensure the traceability and legality of the wood. This requires establishing robust systems for data collection, verification, and reporting.
Another challenge is the availability of accurate and up-to-date information regarding the geo-coordinates of individual plots of land. While some countries have established reliable systems for land registration and mapping, others may lack the necessary infrastructure. Exporters operating in these countries may face difficulties in obtaining precise location data. Efforts should be made to address this issue and provide support to exporters in countries where such systems are lacking.
The ITTO Annual Market Discussion also highlighted the importance of capacity building and knowledge sharing. Exporters need to be aware of the EUDR’s requirements and understand how to comply with them effectively. Training programs and workshops can help build the necessary skills and knowledge among exporters, ensuring they are well-prepared for the regulation’s enforcement. International organizations, such as the ITTO, can play a crucial role in facilitating these capacity-building initiatives.
In conclusion, tropical wood exporters to the EU must start collecting the required data to comply with the EU Deforestation Regulation. The regulation aims to combat illegal deforestation and promote sustainable practices in the timber industry. Exporters must gather due diligence data, including evidence of legality and deforestation-free sourcing, as well as the geo-coordinates of individual plots of land. The ITTO Annual Market Discussion served as a platform to raise awareness about the EUDR and discuss the challenges and opportunities it presents. Cooperation, capacity building, and knowledge sharing are essential to ensure successful implementation of the regulation and promote sustainable forest management worldwide.